The Prism: Every Side of the Story

The Facetime Debacle

As a part of iOS 12’s launch Apple planned on including the long time requested “Group Facetime,” allowing for people to finally join a Facetime call consisting of more than one person. However, at the last minute Apple released a press statement declaring that the feature would be delayed to allow for more bug testing. Multiple users who had access to the beta version reported that often times both audio and video would randomly cut out, in addition to an occasionally glitchy UI; with the large amount of bugs and glitches found within the beta it came as no surprise many that Apple issued a delay.

Thus when it came time for the final release of iOS 12, Group Facetime was missing as expected, arriving about a month later on October 30th with the release of iOS 12.1. Unlike with the beta, the feature was met with near universal acclaim from news outlets but especially from consumers who were eager to get their hands on something that had been asked for almost since Factime’s original release.

Despite the favorable reviews and lack of any of the reported bugs from the beta release there had still been one major issue that slipped past Apple’s internal testers. The bug can force anyone to answer a Facetime call unknowingly allowing for someone with malicious intents to spy on the victim. The bug is simple to execute, only relying on the user needing to add themselves to the call during the ringing phase. This forces the server into believing that the call is now active/answered and anyone who had been dialed up to that point is now a part of that call.

Considering the nature of the bug Apple has received a large outcry of criticism following it’s disclosure for not handling it well or fast enough. The bug was reportedly found by a teenager from Arizona that had attempted to call his friends and accidentally triggered it. This prompted the family to file a bug report to Apple, a report that ironically went unanswered for a period of around nine days.

Since the bug has been brought to the public’s attention Apple is facing a lawsuit from a lawyer claiming to have his private testimony be eavesdropped on due to the bug and large community backlash. This has led to Apple disabling the feature for the time being promising an update due out sometime in the next week.

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